Halloween Horror Face Paint Ideas

Written by maggie worth
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Halloween Horror Face Paint Ideas
Face painting is a fun part of Halloween costuming. (halloween 1 image by Nathalie P from Fotolia.com)

Dressing in fun or spooky costumes is part of the fun of Halloween, and no costume is complete without make-up to match. Children and adults alike can create horror faces with just a little time, effort and some face paint.

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Classic Vampire

The vampire is one of the classic horror characters. Face-painting for the classic vampire requires only three colours: white, red and black (plus an eyebrow pencil). Paint the entire face white. Outline the eyes with a solid line of black. Apply a light coat of black to eyelids (or use purple for a more dramatic look). Emphasise eyebrows in a colour that matches your hair or wig colour. Paint lips a deep, dark red. You may wish to add a bit of red at one corner of the mouth to symbolise a blood drop. Consider adding fake fangs to the teeth for an extra bit of bloodsucking fun.

The Creepy Witch

The witch is another popular Halloween character. The traditional base colour for scary witches is green, but you may choose blue, yellow or another colour if you like. Outline eyes in black. Create “wrinkles” by using a black or dark grey pencil to draw faint wavy lines on the forehead and around the mouth. Paint lips black. For extra creepiness, use fake flesh to create warts and apply to the nose, chin or forehead before painting the face and use tooth black to give the appearance of missing teeth.


Halloween is incomplete without a few skeletons. To create a skull-face, paint the entire face white, including the lips. Apply a wide circle of black around each eye to create the appearance of empty sockets. Paint the bottom third of the nose black. Use a black pencil to draw teeth over the lips and to draw “cracks” in the skull. Consider a skullcap and/or hood to hide hair and further the illusion.

Frankenstein’s Monster

Frankenstein’s Monster is a horror movie favourite that requires just green and black face paint. Paint the entire face and neck green. Use a black pencil to outline eyes and to draw in thick, bushy eyebrows. Draw three thin black horizontal lines on the forehead to symbolise wrinkles. Paint the lips black. Consider attaching black “bolts” to the sides of the neck to increase authenticity.

Scary Clown

Scary clowns are another horror staple. Most clown faces begin with an all-white base, but you may use any colour you like or simply paint the features onto bare skin, leaving your natural flesh tone as the base. Clown faces offer the artist plenty of flexibility and room for creativity. You may choose to create a dramatic horror clown by pencilling spiky black eyebrows, shading the eye area with bold, jagged sweeps of colour and drawing in a maniacal bright-red grin with sharp teeth showing. Alternatively, you may take a subtler route and create a happy clown face, marred only by a few “blood drops” the corner of the mouth.

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